Food delivery services growing in Jamaica since COVID-19, lockdown measures.
Start-up food delivery service RedPlate is among a growing number of businesses venturing in this line of economic activity since the onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures.
RedPlate, which is a Caribbean-based, technology-driven, integrated logistics and transportation solutions provider with backward integrations into e-commerce, is now rolling out its farm fresh delivery service in St James on a pilot basis in the community of Rose Hall.
According to RedPlate, “Rose Hall, St James was chosen for the pilot project because of its capacity for the growing of winter vegetables and its proximity to the Iberostar Hotel, which was able to purchase a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables grown by young farmers in their backyards, and delivered on demand, thereby allowing them to go from farm to table in real time.”
RedPlate FarmFresh delivers the fresh produce possible from its team of farmers’ islandwide by deploying the shortest supply route and time possible. The delivery service works closely with farmers across the country and establishes partnerships to make fresh healthy and delicious food available at lower prices.
RedPlate, which was formed over a year ago, is streamlining the process of getting fresh food from the farm to the consumer with as little outside interference as possible, ensuring that all produce is checked for quality daily and that no one handles the food aside from the farmers and Redplate transporters. Consumers looking for fresh farm and market produce such as in-season fruits, yams, bananas, sweet potatoes, onions, etc can utilise RedPlate transporters and riders on the road all around the island, ensuring the timely delivery of their farm and market orders to them.
For an additional fee RedPlate offers cargo insurance, ensuring the protection of valuable cargo from any damage during transportation. However, certain conditions apply for this premium service.
The company contends that the farm fresh delivery service “is a great option for those who want to know exactly where their garden salad is grown and for those who are both environmentally conscious and love to have fresh produce and pantry staples without heading to the farmers’ market themselves.”
RedPlate co-founder and Group President Aldo Antonio says COVID-19 has redefining the RedPlate business model, which was on the drawing board from as far back as 2004 but only recently implemented. He reported on the company website that the pandemic has resulted in a major realignment and expansion of the vision of the business.
According to Antonio, “COVID-19 caught thousands of retailers and merchants flatfooted, they were not ready for online shopping and delivery. With shutdowns and curfews, business nosedived, as the entire retail and distribution sector was pulled apart.”
Antonio remarked that RedPlate is “on the move”, noting that the aim is to set-up an islandwide on-demand delivery infrastructure that all retailers and merchants, online or offline could use for delivery even if they had no ecommerce presence. This would now provide farmers, brick-and-mortar retailers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises operators with an opportunity to compete and offer home and office delivery services across Jamaica.
RedPlate also aims to provide consumers with “quick pickup and delivery” options as they seek to maximise personal time and expenses while avoiding crowded space occasioned by the pandemic. The company will over time have operations across the Caribbean and will provide supply chain management and logistics services to leading companies around the Caribbean, delivering value through its design, planning and execution in multi-modal transportation carrier services, moving from a pin to an anchor, covering a wide range of items and people.
The E-commerce National Delivery Solution (ENDS) is a similar food delivery service, which got started just over a week ago due to COVID-19 and the recent national lockdown measures. ENDS is a partnership between the Government of Jamaica and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ).
It will allow the quick service industry and delivery operators registered on the ENDS platform to operate during the hours of the curfew until midnight. Customers will be able to choose from listed vendors and pay for their orders via a debit/credit card or a top-up voucher.
Registration of businesses to participate in the pilot started on Thursday, March 25.